Serving salad during appetizer hour can be a challenge. This Endive Cups with Pancetta and Pomegranate recipe is a quick and elegant solution. They can be hand held and consumed in two bites if you use smaller endives. If you prefer a more formal presentation, serve two or three endive cups as a plated salad course. Endive Cups with Pancetta and Pomegranate work equally well warm or at room temperature too, so they are perfect for parties or buffets.
To skip the meat in this dish, substitute pecans for the pancetta. Then, dress the filling with a splash or two of lemon vinaigrette.
A note about pomegranates:
The ruby-red kernels found inside pomegranates are called correctly arils, even though they are often marketed as “pomegranate seeds”. The aril contains the pomegranate seed and the juice of the fruit, wrapped in a thin membrane. Arils are actually even healthier than plain juice, because the seed itself contains punicic acid, in addition to all the superpowered-superfruit-goodness in pomegranate juice. You can find them in stores frozen, freeze dried, or fresh – or you can remove them from the whole pomegranate yourself. The seed inside gives arils a slight crunch, so I usually pair them with nuts or something crispy in recipes.
This Pear & Roasted Beet Salad with Honey Vinaigrette is a showstopper (and delicious). It’s a fabulous dish for pear + pomegranate fans.
If you’re not a fan of Feta, or you love blue cheese, these are great with blue too. They are also fabulous without cheese at all, which makes them dairy-free and Paleo.
ENDIVE CUPS WITH PANCETTA & POMEGRANATE
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta sliced into strips
- 1 cup chopped peeled and cored fresh pears
- 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate arils
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese optional
- 24 Belgian endive leaves about 2 heads
- In a large non-stick skillet heat the olive oil over medium, add pancetta to skillet and stir occasionally until crisp, about 8 minutes. While pancetta is cooking, toss the pear, pomegranate arils and parsley together in a medium sized bowl and season with black pepper.
- When the pancetta is ready, pour the contents of the skillet (fat included) over the pear mixture and stir to combine. Then add the feta cheese and toss to combine.
- Place endive leaves on a serving plate or platter. Fill each leaf with with the pear and pomegranate mixture. Serve and enjoy.